In preparation for May, some Twitter users are bidding “Bye Bye Bye” to a certain Justin Timberlake meme.
It’s become late April tradition on the internet to share an image, GIF or short video of Timberlake from his NSYNC days, captioned “It’s Gonna Be May.” In the boy band’s 2000 song “It’s Gonna Be Me,” Timberlake sings the title line, pronouncing “me” like the month “May.” (Get it?)
According to Know Your Meme, which tracks viral content online, the meme first emerged on Tumblr in 2012.
But this year, in light of the New York Times’ documentary “Framing Britney Spears,” which debuted on Hulu in February, some fans are updating the May meme to feature Spears instead of Timberlake.
Saying she was no fan of Timberlake, user @CrappyFumes wrote: “I made this to replace the stupid ‘gonna be may’ meme – you’re welcome world.” The user swapped the old memefor an image of Spears from her “Oops!…I Did It Again” video, captioned “Just so typically May.”
In the song, Spears sings the line But to lose all my senses / That is just so typically me.“
April is almost over, which means ‘It’s Gonna Be May.’ Why the meme became so popular
Author and podcast host Kristin Russo kept it blunt, tweeting a negative message for Timberlake and sharing a picture of Spears and Madonna from their “Me Against the Music” video captioned, “It’s May (Against the Music).”
Others stuck with the traditional meme, like user @Daveycrits, who tweeted, “It’s April 30th so leave out cookies for Justin Timberlake.”
“Framing Britney” highlights the rise of Spears’ career, her mental health challenges, inappropriate treatment by unrelenting media and the discord over her conservatorship, controlled largely by her father, Jamie. It also got fans fired up about how some people treated Spears, including Timberlake.
The high profile pop duo dated for several years before splitting in 2002. At the time, there was speculation they broke up because Spears was unfaithful, which Timberlake appeared to fuel with the release of the music video for his 2002 single “Cry Me A River,” in which he sang to a Spears look-alike.
In early aughts interview clips in the documentary, Timberlake appears to lack compassion for Spears, who at one point said publicly she wanted to remain a virgin until marriage. Asked on the radio if he slept with Spears, Timberlake playfully responded, “OK, I did it!” before seeming to backtrack, though the audio is unclear.
‘I know I failed’: Justin Timberlake issues an apology to Britney Spears and Janet Jackson
Following intense social media criticism, Timberlake issued an apology on Instagram to his pop star ex.
“I have seen the messages, tags, comments, and concerns and I want to respond. I am deeply sorry for the times in my life where my actions contributed to the problem, where I spoke out of turn, or did not speak up for what was right,” he said.
Timberlake’s apology also extended to Janet Jackson, who co-headlined the XXXVIII Super Bowl Halftime show with him. At the end of the 2004 performance, Timberlake tugged on part of Jackson’s outfit, leading to a wardrobe malfunction briefly exposing her right breast in front of a TV audience of 140 million viewers.
“I specifically want to apologize to Britney Spears and Janet Jackson both individually, because I care for and respect these women and I know I failed,” he continued, “The industry is flawed. It sets men, especially white men, up for success. As a man in a privileged position I have to be vocal about this. Because of my ignorance, I didn’t recognize it for all that it was while it was happening in my own life but I do not want to ever benefit from others being pulled down again.”
Britney Spears says she’s focused on being ‘a normal person’ in wake of ‘Framing Britney’
Contributing: Elise Brisco